Thursday, May 5, 2011

Children's Book Week: Revisiting Childhood Favorites

A few months ago, I went to a small exhibit of drawings from the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art and got reunited with a book from my childhood entitled Fish is Fish by Leo Lionni. The book starts with a young minnow and a young tadpole who are friends. After the tadpole becomes a frog, he has adventures in the world outside the pond and tells his friend the fish about everything he sees. The fish can only picture things like cows and people through his own fishy world view, so the images in his mind look like this. The fish learns to appreciate the beauty of his own world in the end. There's something very relaxing about Lionni's artwork in this and other books. As I read it again, I had the feeling that I'd read it as a kid. Sure enough, when I consulted a list of children's books that my parents have held on to, it was there so I had them send it to us.

Another book that I have been thrilled to be reunited with is I Am A Bunny, which is written by Ole Risom and illustrated by Richard Scarry. This book has some of Richard Scarry's finest illustrations. The cover picture shows the bunny (Nicholas) keeping dry under a toadstool during a rain storm. The book describes what Nicholas does during each season. I imagine that my parents still know this book by heart. I remember reading it every time we were at my grandparents' house in Cranford, New Jersey. I used to think it was hilarious to say "In the spring, I like to eat flowers" instead of "In the spring, I like to pick flowers." I can't recommend this book enough (and I think I've already mentioned it in other blog posts).

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